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Under review

Macros in TCMS using Chrome (or Firefox)

Craig ODonnell 4 years ago in BLOX Total CMS • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 4 years ago 4
When creating stories and adding photos (that is, working with "Article" and "Image") there are an enormous number of repetitive clicks. For example, in an "Image" asset you click a button to add an image which shows a popup to click to get to the "Browse" dialog, which pops up across the screen from the first button ...)

Being able to use some basic macros, as in Excel, to get from A to B would save a great deal of time and go easier on everyone's wrists and arms.

Is anyone using a macro program on Macintosh successfully? I've tried OSX Automator but it is not giving me results.
I tried iOpus in firefox without any luck.... hated making changes to 1800 articles even with batch edit.
It's remarkable that I had better macro abilities on my old Macintoshes (IIci, Quadra, etc) than I can locate 20 years later.

In the meantime, I would be happy with a button called "Apply User Defaults" which would insert a lot of the repetitious boilerplate text and set certain fields certain predetermined ways for a given asset.
Could you guys provide some more specific instances of use cases and tasks that are repetitive?

The photo upload is one thing, but Craig mentioned "Apply User Defaults" which would not be used for photos - what would that do?

Right now, we have several options under the user's preferences in BLOX:

- Default start time (If you're always posting obits that can't go live until 6 am, you can change your startime for that and it will be a default whenever you create a new section).

- Default asset workflow (If you're using the workflow system, perhaps you want all of your content to start in "Second Read" status because you're a copyeditor)

- Default asset author (Whenever you create an asset, you'll become the asset's author, and all of your information - such as tagline, user account, bio, byline - will be automatically filled in).

Perhaps we could add more defaults? Such as "default section" - so every story I create is automatically added into the "sports/local/football" section.

What else would be part of a User Default?
Hi Christine,
The only time I've attempted to use a macro program was when were are making major changes to our site. For example...

Example:
We may have had all of our outlying town sports stories go into only the sports section. After a few months/years we are now going to start covering one of those town in more depth. We create a new section that uses the same format as the other towns we cover and then run a search on the sports section and narrow the search down to only that town (through keywords/search terms).

By default I'll have to click select all, batch edit, set the section, remove the old section (we don't like double sections if we can avoid it) click the button and finally go to the next page of results and repeat.

Its not bad if you are only doing 3-4 pages worth of content... but 4-5 times I've actually done this with 80-100 pages of content.

I've used some firefox macros trying to duplicate the process but it didn't trigger the correct events so it wouldn't work.

Honestly I had thought about doing the same thing to make duplicate ads since it is a feature that I am constantly nagged about by advertising but when it wouldn't work in editorial I didn't even attempt it in advertising.

I know there are external programs out there that will actually interact with the mouse software and have it to do the same procedure over and over and over.... but I am not a fan of those as a lot have a virus attached.